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Capital Calls: A lucrative Evolution for games and gamblers

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A roulette table is seen in Tokyo, Japan, August 4, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

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LONDON, April 27 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Concise insights on global finance.

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GOING ONE BETTOR. Evolution Gaming’s (EVOG.ST) pandemic-fuelled surge continues. Having already shot up by almost 300% since last March, shares in the Swedish purveyor of casino-gaming software rose 10% on Tuesday after it unveiled better-than-expected first-quarter results. Revenue jumped 105% year-on-year to 236 million euros ($285 million) as locked-down punters played more games like “Lightning Roulette”, which Evolution licenses to casino operators in return for a cut of sales.

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The developer’s rise stands in stark contrast to U.S. giants like MGM Resorts International (MGM.N) and Caesars Entertainment (CZR.O). Including debt, Evolution is now valued at over 30 times revenue, according to Refinitiv data, versus an average of 3 times for its old-school peers. Quarterly sales in North America almost tripled to 22 million euros. If Covid-19 prompts more U.S. states to legalise virtual gambling houses to fill gaping budget deficits, further growth will be on the cards. (By Oliver Taslic)

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